Vastavam web: Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Thursday visited Cyclone Gaja-hit areas in Nagapattinam, Tiruvarur and Thanjavur districts of Tamil Nadu and assured full support by the Centre to the affected people. She conducted an aerial survey of the badly affected Nagapattinam district and also undertook an on-ground review and walkthrough around Kodiyakkarai, near Vedaranyam, about 300 km from Chennai, interacting with the local people.
Sitharaman, the first union cabinet minister to visit the cyclone hit areas, reviewed the relief works undertaken by the local authorities, Navy and the Coast Guard at a meeting where the top district officials briefed her about the situation. Addressing reporters and villagers, Sitharaman said permission for construction of houses, under the Prime Minister’s scheme, would be granted immediately to the needy people.
Earlier, on arrival at the IAF air station at Kodiakarai, she held a meeting with state Ministers R B Udhayakumar, S P Velumani, and P Thangamani and senior officials, who received her. The Defence Minister was accompanied by Flag Officer Commanding Tamil Nadu and Puducherry Naval Area Rear Admiral Alok Bhatnagar among others. A defence statement said the minister reviewed the relief operations by the Navy through air, road and sea at the worst hit village of Arucottuthurai in Nagapattinam district.